WASHINGTON and AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hausfeld, led by its new partner, former federal Judge Walter D. Kelley, Jr., and The Lawrence Law Firm, led by Steven Lawrence, announced today their intent to prosecute civil claims against Trinity Industries arising from the company's allegedly defective guardrail end terminals, which are currently installed on roads and highways throughout the United States and internationally.
Trinity Industries' ET-Plus guardrail end terminal has come under fire because evidence indicates that the end terminal often fails to perform as intended. The ET-Plus guardrail end terminal should peel the guardrail away from the vehicle and absorb the energy from a collision. Instead, after multiple secret redesigns, the ET-Plus has been known to spear the cabin of cars and even amputate or kill crash victims. A recent expert analysis estimated that the defective ET-Plus end terminal could be linked to the deaths and/or serious injuries of several people each week.
"They're just sitting there waiting to kill you," said attorney Steven Lawrence, who is prosecuting more than a dozen lawsuits against Trinity Industries. Lawrence has traveled to 35 states measuring ET-Plus changes, documenting Trinity end terminals, conducting discovery, and meeting with victims, transportation experts, and government officials.
The defective guardrail design changes first came to light after Trinity sued a small competitor owned by Joshua Harman for patent infringement in 2011. Mr. Harman hired former federal judge, Walter D. Kelley, Jr. (now of Hausfeld in Washington, D.C.), to represent Mr. Harman's companies in that case. After Judge Kelley and his team obtained extensive discovery, Trinity settled with Mr. Harman in November 2012.
Steven Lawrence, Judge Kelley's former law clerk and now of The Lawrence Law Firm, began investigating Trinity's ET-Plus after Judge Kelley introduced him to Mr. Harman and the ET-Plus issue in 2012. Mr. Lawrence became part of a team that represented Mr. Harman in the ET-Plus whistleblower suit as well as the defamation lawsuits Trinity filed against him for revealing the dangerous nature of Trinity's secret changes to the ET-Plus. The Lawrence Law Firm continues to represent Mr. Harman in the whistleblower case as well as multiple personal-injury and wrongful-death cases involving the ET-Plus.
"Without Mr. Harman, his attorneys, and the media, no one would know of the secret changes and why this product fails repeatedly," said Judge Kelley. "Several hundred million motorists travel highways in the United States and around the world secure in the belief that highway safety equipment such as the ET-Plus will protect them should disaster occur. As numerous accident victims have discovered, that belief is an illusion."
On October 20, 2014, the jury in Harman's ET-Plus whistleblower case found that Trinity Industries withheld vital information about an important design change from plans originally submitted to the Federal Highway Administration. The case resulted in a $175 million verdict that will treble to $525 million – the largest private whistleblower award in history. After the verdict, Trinity Industries announced a halt in sales of the ET-Plus guardrail until additional safety tests can be conducted.
To date, at least 31 states have suspended installation of the defective ET-Plus guardrail end terminals, including Maryland, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas; the number of states continues to grow daily. Even more significantly, Virginia recently announced that it would remove the ET-Plus guardrail from its roadways.
Hausfeld and The Lawrence Law Firm urge anyone with questions about the ET-Plus to contact the firms.
For further information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
The Lawrence Law Firm
NOTE TO EDITORS
Hausfeld is a global claimants' law firm providing litigation services in the areas of antitrust/competition law, mass torts, sports and entertainment, securities fraud, product liability, human rights, and consumer protection. In addition to its Washington, D.C. headquarters, the firm has offices in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Brussels, and London.
For further information please visit: www.hausfeld.com
About The Lawrence Law Firm
Based in Austin, TX, The Lawrence Law Firm has been involved in litigation against Trinity Industries since 2012. Founded by Steven Lawrence, the firm recently participated in the landmark whistleblower verdict against Trinity Industries as well as numerous personal injury and wrongful death cases on behalf of individuals and families injured as a result of the Trinity Industries ET-Plus guardrail end terminal. For further information please visit: http://stevenlawrencelaw.com.